Yesterday may have been my single hardest day of being a teacher since the first one.
My school went on a trip to Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire. After Mt. Fuji in Japan, it’s the second-most climbed mountain in the world. Three teachers (my head of school, a history department colleague, and me), and twenty-two students. A first aid kit, a bunch of walkie talkies, two bottles of water per kid and a bunch of extras in my pack, plus my stash of sunflower seeds and raisins. Those become important later.
One girl on our trip had tremendous difficult climbing, and needed a hand to hold onto. From 9:30 or so until almost 10:30, a colleague of mine did that office, and she did great. At about 10:30, though, his patience was wearing thin, and so I escorted her up the mountain.
To the summit.
It is then that I realize that the girl is not having difficulty climbing because she’s tired, or slightly on the large side. She is having difficulty because she is acrophobic, and she is now two thousand feet above the surrounding countryside.